HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 cc749-50
24. Mr. MacColl

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the amount of building society advances guaranteed by his Department in accordance with his Circular 42/54.

Mr. Deedes

The 915 local authorities in England and Wales who have up to the present agreed to operate the schemes of guarantee referred to in Circular 42/54, have been given general consent to grant guarantees in individual cases without further reference to him. My right hon. Friend, is not, therefore, aware of the amount of building society advances which has been guaranteed. He has asked local authorities to inform him of the number of houses in respect of which guarantees had been given up to 31st March, 1955, but it is likely to be some time before the returns from all local authorities are received.

Mr. MacColl

In view of the fact that this represents an obligation upon the Government as well as upon local authorities, is it not really extraordinary that the Minister does not know to what extent he has committed public funds in this matter?

Mr. Deedes

We have only just called for the returns, which are called for at stated intervals. The figures eventually will be available.